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  1. #1
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    164
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Tractor
    Kubota L3240 HST

    Default potential weak points on the 40 series

    I have wanted a 30 series kubota for about three years before I could actually swing it in the financial plans and when the time came (and our cad was at $1.06) I went with the 40 series instead. I liked the simple rock solid proven design of the 30 series and if the 40 series was any other manufacturer than kubota I probably wouldn't have taken the chance.

    Just want to get some opinions from other 40 series owners on what you think or have experienced as weaknesses in the new 40 series over the older 30 series.

    Maybe we can also reply with the model and number of hours on your unit.

    I will start off with a few concerns I have.
    3240 16 months old and just rolled over 300 hours

    All the electronics, servos and sensors in the new HST plus. Its a bit scary when you look at the service manual. Love the design and functions but wonder how it will work after 1500 hours or so. No problems or issues except the high pitched bearing resonance when in fwd at med or high range full HST pedal.

    Steering column assembly seems a bit weak and if someone was to be using it to pull themselves up into the operating platform on a regular basis instead of the grab handle might cause a problem.

    I love this unit and have not had an issue yet except a flat from apple trees, just wondered if any other owners have any story's to tell so we can all keep an eye out for issues if they become common.

    I am looking at buying a larger HP 40 series in a few years.

    Need to come up with one h#@l of a business plan to get that one by the wife
    GL3240 HST, 724 FEL, Loaded R4s, Squealer 160 Bush Hog, 72" Box Blade, and more everyday.
    Ford 655 TLB
    Cat D6B Dozer with root rake
    Chev C70 Dump truck
    Just having fun in the dirt.... Well it started out that way.

  2. #2
    art
    art is offline
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    central New York
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    all makes and models

    Default Re: potential weak points on the 40 series

    Quote Originally Posted by slan View Post
    I have wanted a 30 series kubota for about three years before I could actually swing it in the financial plans and when the time came (and our cad was at $1.06) I went with the 40 series instead. I liked the simple rock solid proven design of the 30 series and if the 40 series was any other manufacturer than kubota I probably wouldn't have taken the chance.

    Just want to get some opinions from other 40 series owners on what you think or have experienced as weaknesses in the new 40 series over the older 30 series.

    Maybe we can also reply with the model and number of hours on your unit.

    I will start off with a few concerns I have.
    3240 16 months old and just rolled over 300 hours

    All the electronics, servos and sensors in the new HST plus. Its a bit scary when you look at the service manual. Love the design and functions but wonder how it will work after 1500 hours or so. No problems or issues except the high pitched bearing resonance when in fwd at med or high range full HST pedal.

    I'd try balancing the air pressure of the tires, that is thinking that you are on a wet or snow covered road otherwise I would not recommend driving in high range in four wheel drive.


    Steering column assembly seems a bit weak and if someone was to be using it to pull themselves up into the operating platform on a regular basis instead of the grab handle might cause a problem.


    You are right but for most users being aware of this they are rare to be worked on. Rough use and some big boys they will still hold well getting ten years of life at a minimum. Many people respect the Kubota's because of their quietness and smoothness and by mounting it in rubber.


    I love this unit and have not had an issue yet except a flat from apple trees, just wondered if any other owners have any story's to tell so we can all keep an eye out for issues if they become common.

    I am looking at buying a larger HP 40 series in a few years.

    Need to come up with one h#@l of a business plan to get that one by the wife
    There are so many posts here about buying to short on power that you should be able to find enough lines to assist you!

  3. #3
    Gold Member SCDolphin's Avatar
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    Dec 2003
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    437
    Location
    Columbia, SC
    Tractor
    Kubota L5240: Craftsman GT6500

    Default Re: potential weak points on the 40 series

    I have a 5240 with about 240 hours. No problems with tractor, only the quick attach. I also have a trans whine but I think that is normal. I try to pick a gear that I can run with the hst pedal floored not have way feathered. The big sell point on the 40's is better hst pedal position.
    Great Wife
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    Kubota L5240 HST
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  4. #4
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    Oct 2009
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    11

    Default Re: potential weak points on the 40 series

    In response to your question, from what you're saying you are basically worried about the complexity of the tractor. The theory behind your assumptions is that the more parts you have, the more things can go wrong. I absolutely agree with this as well. You are also worried about lots of servos and electronics built into the transmission. I only have one thing to say about electronics, they are a blessing and not a curse. I remember when through injection came around, lots of people were worried about the electronics breaking and not lasting very long. The reality is, properly designed electronics are ahead and shoulder more reliable and mechanical devices. Of course I am talking about properly designed electronics, there is equipment out there with extremely poor electronics.

    I think a good example is the hybrid vehicles. If you look at these cars and buses from the point of complexity in terms of electronics and electric components. These vehicles are very complex. Yet statistics on buses and vehicles clearly show, hybrids are actually more reliable than conventional vehicles. I think also another good example would be an industry. If you happen to work in a refinery that has a lot of angst driven by electric motors and compressors driven by gas powered mowers. The statistics clearly show that it almost takes one person continually to run six of these gas powered motors 24 hours a day and seven days a week. This is how many man-hours of maintenance and repair personnel you have to keep just to upkeep them and handle all the problems. At the same time a refinery can have hundreds of electric motors and only requires two or three maintenance personnel to keep these motors running. A lot of people are afraid of electronics and electricity because they don't understand it. A good example was the year 2000 bug, anybody who knew anything about electronics was not really worried but sure saw an opportunity to make lots of money. A lot of the arguments that were presented were in fact extremely weak. But the way the information was actually presented, scared **** out of most of the people. Remember people buying generators and other equipment because they thought the world would stop because of it. I'm not exactly an electronics expert, but from some basic electrical engineering that I have taken I knew enough that the whole idea was in fact the moneymaking scam.

    Servos and electronics are statistically 10 to 100 times more reliable than a hydraulic and mechanical components. They are also absolutely maintenance-free.

    I have exactly the same tractor as you have, it's actually about the same age as well. I do agree it would be nicer if it had more power, as it takes a lot of rpm to keep the PTO spinning a proper speed. I don't know about you, as I am not used to running a tractor, but that rpm I find the tractor a little bit loud. I wear hearing protection so it's actually not a problem. But in my mind, the four-cylinder engine would be a lot nicer. Unlike you however, I don't think there is any justification to upgrade a tractor as it does everything it's supposed to do. And while it is nice to have the extra power, the upgrade cost would be not justifiable. There is a loss in the potential depreciation of the present tractor that is way too big of a hit to take. Even though I believe these tracks don't appreciate very much, at the end of the day 40 hp unit would not do the job a lot faster than the present unit. I don't have just over 100 hours online, so I guess because of the low use I cannot justify the extra cost. I do agree with you however it's an absolutely awesome tractor.

  5. #5
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    164
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Tractor
    Kubota L3240 HST

    Default Re: potential weak points on the 40 series

    Thanks guys.
    Just to clarify, I am not buying a new tractor because the one I purchased is under powered. I bought it to do the jobs suited for that size. I will be done with those jobs in a few years and then will need both a smaller unit and a larger one to do specific tasks. probably a BX for mowing, gardening, and light stuff. I will need a bigger unit with cab for snow blowing, field prep and maint, and a bit of logging.

    Just looking for units out there with more than a few hundred hours on the new HST+ to see if there has been any problems with them yet.

    I agree that electronic parts are very reliable and after a while any issues with a component that may have a lower mtbf than the designer anticipated is identified, are upgraded and then usually not an issue.

    The fact that this is a relatively new transmission and the sensors or servos have not been in use for 4000 hours yet makes it hard to say the electronics are more dependable.
    How many of us has had our truck or car in the shop because of a bad sensor?
    These are on the inside of the transmission!!!

    Just asking. I love the unit and hope it will last for the long run. By the time I am ready to by the 5040 or similar the HST+ should have had enough time to prove its longevity.
    GL3240 HST, 724 FEL, Loaded R4s, Squealer 160 Bush Hog, 72" Box Blade, and more everyday.
    Ford 655 TLB
    Cat D6B Dozer with root rake
    Chev C70 Dump truck
    Just having fun in the dirt.... Well it started out that way.

  6. #6
    Gold Member Happyman's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
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    477
    Location
    Kents Store, Virginia
    Tractor
    Kubota Grand L 3940

    Default Re: potential weak points on the 40 series

    I have a 3940 with 305 hours. I recently posted at how impressed I was with the toughness of these machines. I work the piss out of my tractor and push it for every horse it can muster. The end result is a very productive machine and operator
    I have changed the engine oil and filter as required. I have changed the HST filter twice and the hydraulics filter once per the manual specifications. At 400 hours I will change the SUDT fluid for the first time and replace all filters, per the manual. I plan on putting SUDT back in. I also have the "whine" when running in High with full pedal. The whine is normal.
    Everything functions as well as it did the first day. Actually a bit better because I had the hydraulics checked when the back-hoe felt a little weak. Turns out I was at the low end of the hydraulics pressure specs. The dealer sent a service tech to my farm (no charge) and he adjusted the pressure to the upper end of the factory specs for hydro pressure. This made a noticeable diffference.
    If I had a 5740 I would use every bit of horsepower it could muster. But, since I only have a 3940, I use every bit of it.
    I'm sold on kubota and its machines.
    Grand L3940 HST, Wallenstein BX62 chipper, Woods GTR72 tiller, Woods BH90-X backhoe, 724 FEL, forks, 1000lb PTO rotary spreader, Woods PRD8400 finish mower, Leinbach 7' landscape rake, United 7' box blade, Pequea 80 bushel manure spreader, Woods 7' Brush Hog.

  7. #7
    Elite Member Baby Grand's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    3,281
    Location
    Windsor, CT.
    Tractor
    L3240GST, B2320HST, B5100D & G5200H

    Default Re: potential weak points on the 40 series

    So far my L3240 has been trouble free with 2 years and 200 hrs on the clock. It has far exceded my expectations in terms of ruggedness and capability and has been very forgiving of my ham-fisted learning curve. While I agree that fuel injection is much more reliable than carburation and that electronic ignition is much more reliable than breaker point ignition, there are certain applications where an analog system is just better.

    The only thing that I really dislike about my machine is the digital instrumentation "intelipad". I much prefer a mechanical gage to a digital read out as I have had digtal readouts fail (one on my car and 3 on calculators). If the intelipad on my 'Bota ever goes FUBAR it will be replaced with analog instruments, regardless of the cost & hassle to do it.

    An analog PTO tach would be a huge improvement on this machine since with the digital display you have to take a hand off the wheel and your eyes off the work, press a button and then watch the display while the "logic" switches through 3 other modes to display the PTO speed. I'd much rather just look at a gage-it's much, much faster and far safer.

    -Jim
    That's the problem with trouble.
    It always starts out as such fun."
    - Randall Brown

  8. #8
    Veteran Member lawn_king's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
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    1,593
    Location
    Hanover massachusetts
    Tractor
    kubota L 3540 hsdc,B 2320 hsdc & lots of other stuff!

    Default Re: potential weak points on the 40 series

    Two seasons of commercial (year round) service from my machine 3540 hsdc, trouble free. If there is a weak point i have yet to find it?
    We have done so much, for so long,with so little, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing!

  9. #9
    New Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    23
    Tractor
    boomer 3050 w/cab

    Default Re: potential weak points on the 40 series

    i have a 5740 and love it, the one thing you want to make sure you do is keep the area around the front tire rod area seal clean. dirt/mud tends to get in there and wear that seal out, just keep washed out and dried after use in mud or dirt and everything will be fine. the other area is the radiator condensor area on the front keep it blowed out in the front or else you a/c may not work and could build head pressure and cause a blowout, and no a/c

    other than that these are bullet proof tractors.

  10. #10
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    161
    Location
    down the road a bit
    Tractor
    Kubota L5740 Kubota F3080

    Default Re: potential weak points on the 40 series

    I have a 5740 and here are a few thoughts.

    It is a great machine... kubota quality and very strong... my issues are things that should have been taken care of in the design phase... but they weren't.

    I was nervous about all the automatic/electronic stuff too, but man, it makes it nice to operate. Running the loader is really fast.

    I can't get into the seat from the right side of the tractor due to the loader control lever. I know it is the "wrong side" and there is no step, but sometimes I want to get in from there rather than walk around.

    The kill switch in the seat is too sensitive. When working with a box blade, or when trying to get out of a mud hole and stepping on the dif. lock, the switch opens and cuts the engine off. I am an average size guy... put my wife in it and she has to be careful or it will shut off.

    I wish it had a lever to lock the differential lock, vs. just a lever to step on.

    The third function valve location is a total afterthought.

    All in all, the Kubota engineers need to get out more and actually run the equipment they design so they know what the day to day aggervations are.

    Like I said, It is a great machine, and any color will have it's quirks. I will take the kubota quirks over any other in a heartbeat.

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